(2 minute read)
Brené Brown describes a daring culture as one that is honest, constructive, and engages in feedback. She also explains that giving or receiving feedback is likely to result in some discomfort; “feedback thrives in cultures where the goal is not getting comfortable with hard conversations but nomalising discomfort.” By letting people know that this discomfort is normal, is going to happen and why, this actually reduces the anxiety, fear and potential shame. This is consistent with growth and learning being uncomfortable, with individuals stepping outside of their comfort zone in order to learn and grow.
In telling her students that there will be times that they will feel discomfort, discomfort becomes an expectation and the norm, to the point where her students inform her, “I haven’t been uncomfortable yet. I’m concerned.” This in turn leads to key feedback conversations regarding their engagement and also, her teaching, leading to growth and learning for all.
The key for leaders is to foster and support the courage to be uncomfortable; is to be willing to be vulnerable and role-model this daring behaviour; to help the people with whom we work to accept this discomfort as a part, even a sign, of growth and learning.
Brown, B. (2012). Daring greatly: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead. London: Penguin Books.